Saturday, July 2, 2016

Aren't You Happy Where You Are?

It was the end of a regular school day in the beginning of June. I was coming home from work to a list of things that had to be done before getting the carpool moving for soccer practice. Dinner had to be made. Lunches packed. Homework (for all of us) had to be done. Typical busy home life, right?

My son then asked me how my day was. He is typically interested in how things went for me. He is just not asking to be polite. He is genuinely interested in how things go for the members of our family. It is one of the many things about him that I love.

I told him I had a job interview that afternoon. I was applying for a math coach in a neighboring school district. He stopped his homework long enough to ask me: "Aren't you happy where you are?"

Of course, at the time, I had no idea how to answer his question other than to reply weakly: "Yes, I am happy where I am." Over the last couple of weeks, I have had his question bounce around in my head. I am perfectly happy where I am teaching. I have been there over 15 years. I am very familiar with the procedures and policies. I have a solid rapport with the community and staff.

So, here are the reasons I should have given him a couple of weeks ago:
1. Interviewing allows me stay current on educational topics.
2. It helps me network face to face.
3. It forces me to update my resume. I think too many educators do not take the time to see how much they do in their school community. We generally do not take a lot of time to think of ourselves. But, interviewing forces you to take time to see how impactful you have been over the years.
4. It keeps me from being okay with being comfortable. Interviewing is nerve wracking. It pushes me out of my comfort zone.
5. I constantly ask my students and kids to challenge themselves. Do not settle for just being "okay". Getting myself out there really forces me to step up my game. I need to constantly walk the walk, right?

Actually, I am glad I was not prepared to answer my son with this great list a couple of weeks ago. There is no way he would have listened the whole way through. His caring for my day would have been overrun by his desire to finish his math homework.

If you have not recently forced yourself to get out and interview, I encourage you to do so. What are some other things I missed from my list? How does interviewing help us as educators?


1 comment:

Jonathon Wennstrom said...

Jim,

I admire you for practicing what your preach. We are always telling people not to stay in their comfort zones, but how often do we do just that? You are pushing yourself and challenging the status quo. Good luck and keep us posted!!

Jon